Products from 17 main types of food to be offered with a maximum mark-up of 10%. This is foreseen in the Draft Bill on food mark-ups, which was published today for preliminary public consultation on the website of the Ministry of Economy and Industry.
The Bill, by Order of the Minister of Economy and Industry in consultation with the Minister of Agriculture, provides for a list of foods to which the maximum mark-up restriction will be applied by retailers to be established. The indicative list prepared to date includes: rice, flour type 500, ‘White’ bread, ‘Dobrudja’ bread, pork — chilled, chicken, minced meat 60/40 pork/veal chilled, fresh cow’s milk 2—3.8%, cow’s yoghurt 2—3.8%, cow’s white cheese, cow’s milk yellow cheese, eggs size M, butter, vegetable oil, sugar, beans and baby food.
The regulatory act will apply for a period of 6 months and only to retailers with an annual turnover for the previous calendar year of more than BGN 30 million who offer food for retail sale. They will be obliged to identify at least one product of each type of product mentioned in the approved list. Retail dealers will be obliged to form a final price for their chosen products with a maximum mark-up of 10% of the supplier’s price.
The law prohibits the practice of issuing counter-invoices for return services to the supplier concerning these products. In this way, attempts to circumvent the legal provisions, such as a retail dealer declaring that they operate on a minimal profit, but issuing invoices for advertising, positioning, etc. to the supplier or manufacturer, will be prevented.
Retailers will have an obligation to maintain sufficient quantities of products with a minimum mark-up. They will be marked with a special sign approved by the Ministry of Economy and Industry. The inclusion of imitation products among those designated by the outlets is prohibited.
The normative act also regulates the sanctions for possible violations. A person who fails to specify products with a maximum mark-up will be sanctioned with a fine of up to 2% of their turnover in the country for the previous calendar year. In the event that the retailer fails to provide data on the products specified by them, a fine of BGN 5,000 or a property sanction of BGN 10,000 shall be imposed. For retailers found not to maintain sufficient quantities of the selected products, a fine of between BGN 5,000 to BGN 50,000, or, respectively a property penalty of between BGN 10,000 to BGN 100,000, is provided for.
The Ministry of Economy and Industry and the Commission for Consumer Protection, assisted by the National Revenue Agency and the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency, will have control functions under the Food Mark-ups Act.
The Draft Bill has been developed by the Ministry of the Economy and Industry and work on the Impact Assessment is ongoing, after which the entire package of documents will be published on the Public Consultation Portal of the Council of Ministers.